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Shelf No. 


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Interesting and useful Observations, l>; 
Fahrenheit's T crmomctm , oh board the 
ship Seine, on a voyage from Havre to 
New- York, by a gentleman passenger. 



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* In the < 



t Bank o 

;' .Newfoundland, 









YOUR Lordfhip, ever attentive 
to the welfare of his Majefty's 
American fubje&s, and ready on 
all occafions to fhew your zeal to 
fupport their interefts, and render 
them opulent and profperous, can- 
not but fympathize with the many 
unfortunate adventurers who are fo 

A 2 deeply 


deeply and frequently diftrefled by 
the calamities which every year 
befall veffels navigating on the 
Weftern Atlantic Coaft, efpecially 
in the New Bahama Channel, and 
in the mouth of the Gulf of 
Mexico, oppofite the Ifland of 
Cuba, oa the Martiere rocky reefs 
and fand-banks. 

Your Lordfhip's great vigilance 
and humanity are clearly evinced 
by his Majefty's orders, (with the 
execution of which I was honoured 
by your Lordihip in 1764) for 
making discoveries with regard to 
thofe feas, and for carrying on a 
regular furvey of the countries to 
which they fet bounds: in pro- 
moting which neceffary and im- 
portant undertaking your Lordfhip's 
prevailing inclination (that of doing 
good) appears too fully to admit a 

Permit me to add, my Lord, 



that this motive animated me 
likewife in the performance of that 
duty I entered upon in obedience 
to his Majefty's commands, in gra-> 
titude to your Lordfhip for the 
confidence repofed in me, and with 
a real affe&ion for my fellow fub- 

From the materials which thefe 
expeditions afforded me, and which 
I have had the honour to lay before 
your Lordfhip, I have fince (with 
ycur Lordfhip's permiilion) com- 
piled this little Treatife, which I 
have called the Atlantic Pilot, 
as being calculated for the fafer 
conduit of fhips in their navigation 
from the Gulf of Mexico along 
Cuba and the Martieres, through 
the New Bahama Channel, to the 
northern part of his Majefty's do- 
minions upon the continent of North 
America, and from thence to Eu- 



This fmall (but, for its utility, I 
hope not inconfiderable) perfor- 
mance, I humbly beg leave to fub- 
mit to your Lordfhip's prote&ion 
and patronage, together with its 
Author, who has the honor to fub- 
fcribe himfelf, with the utmoft 

My Lord, 

Your Lordfliip's 

Moft obedient, and 

Moft humble fervant, 

William Gerard de Bra&m. 



"^HE following directions, which the 
Atlantic Pilot prefents to the 
public, are from authentic difcoveries on 
the promontory formerly called Te- 
gefta, now His Majefty's fouthernmoft 
province on the continent of North 
America, known by the name of Eaft 
Florida, terminating the fouthern extent 
of the Weftern Atlantic or North Ame- 
rican coaft: Herein the former condi- 
tion of the faid promontory is deduced, 
by reafonable conclufions, from its pre- 
fent appearance; its climate and natural 
products are made known; and, what 
is more effential, and univerfally wanted, 
the tracing of the Florida, commonly 
called Gulf ftream, between the Ha~ 
vannah on Cuba, and the Martiere iflands 
along the Weftern Atlantic coaft, as far 


( viii ) 

as 45° 30' north latitude, and 35° weft 
longitude from the meridian of London 
is obtained by obfervations and actual 
iurveys made by 

JVilliam Gerard de Brahnt, Efq. 

His Majefly's Surveyor General of the 
Southern Diftrid: of North America, 

From the year 1765, to the year 1771* 



B Y T H E 


Kk..W^[APE Florida has not, in appear- 
5 C C a ^ce to tranfient navigators, the 
^jam^ characteriftic of one of the fouth- 
ern capes of the promontory of Eaft 
Florida, (in former time fcarcely known 
to the world, fave by its bare name 
and exiftence, unlefs, in parts, by 
thofe who in their navigation near it 
became unfortunate by fuffering fhip- 
wreck.) I Should not contend with fuch 
as refufe or hefitate to admit it among the 

B number 

£ > ] 

number of capes, becaufe it almoft joins 
(when difcovered from the fouthward) a 
ridge of iflands on its fouth, with fcarce 
lefs viiible diftin&ion than it joins the 
continent to its north : and indeed it has, in 
all probability, been in former ages part 
of the main. This, by the plan I have 
Sketched of its probable antient figure, 
drawn from the conclufions obtained by 
judging of its prefent fhape and condition, 
I endeavour to fliew more fully, however, 
by caufe of the laft bend or courfe of the 
Florida ftream at this place, where it en- 
ters, after feveral changes in its courfe, the 
New Bahama channel with a N.b.E. di- 
rection ; by caufe of the inlet being here 
made by force of the faid ftream into 
Hawke channel; (which channel runs from 
latitude 25 35', to 24 25', contains I 9 
43' difference of longitude, and i° 10' 
difference of latitude, and has its bed ber 
tween the Martier reefs and fhoals on its 
fouth, and the Martier iflands to its north;) 
alfo by caufe of this place being at prefent 
the fouth end of the weftern Atlantic coaft, 
and the beginning of the northern main 
forming the gulf of Mexico, which both 
meet here in an angle of 150 ; and like- 
wife becaufe moft veffels departing from 
the Havannah on Cuba, or PannaMatance, 
if properly laid up, difcover generally this 
place firft, which is their criterion of ha- 

r 3 j 

ving paflcd the Martier reefs ; and they 
may nence with fafety continue Handing 
northward : here they are fure to be in the 
entrance of the New Bahama channel, 
and take from thence the benefit of the 
Florida ftream through the faid channel 
into the Atlantic ocean : for all which 
reafbns I think myfelf under the obli- 
gation to rank this place among the 
capes, and particularife it as fuch in my 
General Hydrogeographical, as alfo in my 
Special Hydrographical Maps. 

Cape Florida is fituated in north lati- 
tude 25 42' 42 /; ; and in weft longi- 
tude, from the London meridian, 8i° 
00' 19/. The fun's and magnetical am- 
plitudes differ here with 6° eaft va- 
riation of the compafs. All thefe parts, 
at prefent diftinguifhed by the appellations 
of Cape Florida, Martier Iflands, Martier 
Shoals, and Martier Reefs, do appear to 
have been in times pall contiguous, form- 
ing two peninfulas on the fouth end of that 
promontory, fortified as it were againft 
the Florida ftream by broken iflands, 
which contain near forty miles in longi- 
tude, and twelve miles in latitude, known 
this day by the name of Dry Tortugas ; 
and by a reef, out of fight of any land weft 
of thefe iflands, known by the name of 
the Tortuga Bank. Of the fbuthernmoft 
peninfula, whofe ifthmus now conftitutes 

B 2 Cape 

[ 4 ] 

Cape Florida, there remains only the trace 
among the fhoals and reefs. Of the northern 
peninfula, whofe ifthmus exifts weft of 
Sandwich Gulf, there are extant many va- 
luable iflands, befides the tract of its whole 
fhape. Between thefe two peninfulas and 
the main are, to this day, parts of one river, 
called Grant's Lake, and the wholechannel 
of another, called Hawke Channel, both 
.iffuing, viz. the former from the northward 
of (the formerly called Ifland, now Penin- 
fula) Larga; and the other out of Sandwich 
Gulf: and both with a parallel courfe, 
(viz.-Grant's Lake, after fweeping the north 
beach of the fouthern peninfula, and fouth 
fhore of the main ; and Hawke Channel, 
after watering the fouth of the northern, and 
the north fhore of the fouthern peninfulas) 
emptied themfelves, to the north and fouth 
of Dry Tortugas, into the gulf of Mexi- 
co, and its ftream. The iflands ftill in 
being, as remnants of the northern penin- 
fula, are many, and go by 4he general 
name of Martier Iflands, or commonly the 
Keys, whofe original Spanifh names are not 
all known, or which never have been 
named: of fuch the remarkable and name- 
lefs fhall now be diftinguiihed with the 
proper names, and run thus, viz. from 
north-eaftward to fouth-weftward, Bifkai- 
no, Ofwald, Laurence, Los Paradizos, Sol- 
diers, Knox, Pollock, Pownall, Elliot, Je- 
■ . - nyns, 

nyns, Fox, Stephens, Bull, Wright, Mata- 
combe. la M.ofa, Boys, Matance, (fig- 
nifying Majacre, from an unhappy French 
crew, wrecked on Matacombe, and faid to> 
have been maffacred thereon by the Ca- 
loofa Indians) Jenkinfon, Dyfons, Townf- 
hends, Coopers, Bradihaw, Matacombe la 
Viega,Vivera, Reynolds, Ellis, Vacas, New- 
castle, Rice, Jenning, Robinfon, Roberts, 
Littleton, Glen, Oglethorp, Edwards, 
Fitzherbert, Huefo, and the Tortugas. 
1 Huefo is the fouth point of the former 
northern peninfula, as the ihoal of 
Sombreros, with its barren fand-hills, is 
the fouth point of the fouthern peninfula. 
Between Huefo and the Tortugas conti- 
nues the former creek, in very good con- 
dition, fituated in latitude 24 25', and 
in 82 53' 29" weft longitude from the 
meridian of London, where the magneti- 
cal differs 6° 25' eaft from the folar am- 
plitude : it is known by the name of Eg- 
mont Channel, and affords a very good paf- 
fage to and from Penfacola and places 
contiguous. An E.N.E. moon makes 
there high water : the rife and fall of flood 
and ebb is 3 A. feet at neap tide, and 6 A feet 
at full and change : the beft water lies on 
the eaft fide of the channel, which is five 
miles in length, bears S.S.E. and N.N.W. 
and where narroweft, is a quarter of a mile 
wide : it floods in this channel at times 


[ 6 ] 

from fouth to north five hours, and ebbs 
{even ; at other times it floods feven hours 
moderately, fo that a veffel with a leading 
wind may eafily ftem its current : but it 
ebbs five hours from north to fouth, with 
precipitation, acrofs the Huefo banks, and 
fets over upon the Tortuga fhoal, fo that 
a veffel cannot with a leading wind ftand 
againft it, without danger of being fet on 
fliore on the Tortuga bank. The found- 
ings in this channel run between 36-i-^ and 
.164- feet high water, neap tide, and from 
igJLg. to 1 9.1 high water fpring tide, upon 
white find on the fouth end, which lafts 
for about two miles -, then upon rocks and 
fand for near two miles more ; and end 
upon white marl, from which they fall 
upon quickfand to the north of the faid 
channel, and increafe in Richmond Bay on 
a fandy bottom. 

The great weight of the fea inclofed 
within the vaft extent of the Mexican 
gulf is fei in agitation by the trade-winds, 
as is generally agreed ; whereby the fa- 
mous Florida ftream is fuppofed to be ef- 
fected, and thence called Gulf ftream; by 
which nature conduces both to the health 
and conveniency of that region : but 
this ftream is in reality carried into the 
gulf of Mexico by thefe trade-winds, and 
therein circulates at large j but at the place 


i 7 3 

of its ifTue, anxioufly comprefled by the 
iflands Cuba and Bahamas on one fide, and 
the promontory on the other, is conftrained 
to curb its current fuddenly and often, in 
order to take its vent on the eaft fide of the 
faid promontory at Cape Florida, through 
the New Bahama channel into the Atlan- 
tic ocean, with aN.b.E. direction; which 
direftion at Cape Canaveral, in latitude 
28 20' 50", it exchanges with a N.N.E. 
courfe, in which it continues as far as 
Charles-Town, from whence it runs with 
a N.E. turn to latitude 42 and 68° 
weft longitude from London, then E.b.N, 
to the bank of Newfoundland, and unites, 
about 40° weft longitude from London, 
with the currents iffuing out of St. Law- 
rence's Gulf, Baffin's Bay, and Hudfon's 
Straits, with which it takes a S.E. depar- 
ture towards the weftern iflands, proba- 
bly joins the current letting out of the 
ilrait of Gibraltar, and proceeds as far as 
the ooaft of Africa, until itfalls in with the 
trade-winds again, and returns, after its ro- 
tation in the ocean, to the gulf of Mexico. 
North and N.E. as alfo eaft winds prefs the 
Florida ftream home to the Atlantic coaft^ 
and confine it in a very narrow channel ; 
at which times it runs like a torrent. 
S.E. and fouth winds give lefs motion 
to the natural current of the ftream, be- 


{ 8 i 

caufe it then runs in its natural channel* 
is wider, as alfo diftant from the fhore, on * 
which diftance part of the ftream returns 
by an eddy fouthwardly. S.W. weft, and 
N.W. winds extend the ftream ftill farther 
into the ocean, confequently beyond its 
natural eaftern boundary; by which its 
current is but moderate, having that mo- 
tion diminifhed, which is caufed by the 
prefTure it receives in its confinement be- 
tween the iflands Cuba, Bahamas, and the 
promontory. For particulars, reference 
may be had to the Hydrographical Map of 
the Atlantic Ocean between the Englifh 
Channel and North America, terminating 
at the Martiers; where the ftream, accord- 
ing to the interceptions of winds contrary to 
its affumed regular courfe, and by reafon 
of its fudden changes in its proceflion on 
the promontory from S. to S.E. to E, 
to N.E. and at Cape Florida to N.N.E. 
and in the New Bahama Channel to 
N.b.E. ftrikes more or lefs force on the 
narrow head of the faid promontory, in fuch 
manner, that the continent has been, and 
is to this day, fubjeft to yield its limits 
foot by foot to the ftream. Myfelf, an4 
people employed by me in this fervice, 
have thefe three years obferved many 
places, where frefh encroachments appear 
to this effect: even the vaft quantity of 
fcattered large old trees, wafhed out with 


[ 9 1 

their roots on all Shores of the iflands, and 
out in the {hallow fea between the iflands 
and main, teftify that they lay on the 
fpot of the former continent and peninfu- 
las, where their genus and fpecies former- 
ly flourished; but none of us, on the many 
places we frequented, have met with a 
fpot, where the continent has taken pof- 
feiiion of limits deferted by the ftream. 
Thefe are teitimonies, if not evident 
proofs, that the ftream, not fatisfied 
with its confined fudden turns, endea- 
vours to extend - y but does not give up any 
of its acquifitions, or exchange old pof- 
feffions m lieu, as feas and rivers are 
well known to do in all parts of the 
inown world. 

This encroachment of the ftream has 
torn thefe naturally low peninfulas and the 
continent, at times of inundations, (caufed 
by great gales and hurricanes, aggravated 
by the accompanying of moon's full 
and change) into fo many fubdivifions as 
are in being under the different names 
and appellations mentioned above. In 
the month of September, 1769, hap- 
pened fuch an inundation, which then 
covered the very tops of the higheft 
trees on the peninfulaLarga, and the iflands 
Fox, Stephens, Jenyns, and Elliot, with 
three feet water, experienced to the great 
damage of the Litbury fnow, John Lo- 

C rain 

[ io 1 

rain matter ; who, by the N.W. cur- 
rent of the ftream, caufed by a N.E. 
gale, was forced ov:r the reef in a 
ihallow fea, bulged, and coming to an- 
chor in Hawke channel over the fouth 
end of Elliot, found himfelf next day 
on fhore, with his anchor among the 
trees on the faid ifland. The high 


Martier iflands are grounded upon rocks, 
fome grey, fome white, and fome black 
and hard as flint : and the low, viz. 
mangrove iflands, are founded on coral 
rocks, all covered with a rich, but wet 
foil. The high iflands are covered in 
places with fand, on which little or no- 
thing grows ; in other parts they have 
a fcratum of blueifh marl, on which torch, 
madeira, lignum vitas, iron wood, fapa- 
dilla, manchenill, wild cinnamon, gum 
elemi, papa, papajos, the white, red, 
and black mangrove, cotton and grape 
tree, grape vine, the hicoco plum, the 
aloes, opuntia, and fquilla, flourifh in great 
abundance, in a moft agreeable climate, 
whofe fummer heat is temperated by the 
trade -winds, and where the fun's greateft 
diftance permits the termofcope, as I have 
experienced between latitude 24 and 25 
at Chriftmas day, as alfo before and after, 
"to rife up as far as 82 . On fomeofthefe 
iflands are ponds and wells, in rocks, of 
exceeding good frefh water ; of which 
notice is taken in the General Map. 


C ' » ] 

A fpecies of prawns, (flirimps) growing 
to the weight of five pounds a piece, 
live in ereat numbers in the holes of 
the coral recks, on the mangrove iflands : 
thefe flirimps are by the Weft-Indians 
improperly called lobfters, although they 
have not the two claws, as lobfters : 
they are beautifully fpotted with red, yel- 
low, blue, green, grey, and a little black; 
but they all change into one red colour by 
boiling: befides them are tortoife in great 
quantity, viz. the loggerhead, hawk-bill, 
and green; as alfo Jew-fifh, fnappers, grup- 
pers, groans, porgus, angel-fifh, bone-flfh, 
the bafs and hippocampus, near and about 
the iflands ; and farther off, in or near the 
ftream, are king-fifh, dolphins, bonetoes, 
albicores, cavallos, baracutas, red hog-fifli, 
Spanifh mackarels,old wives, turbots, fuck- 
ing-fifh, bats, (commonly called devil-fifli) 
fharks, and bottle-nofe porpoifes. 

None of the iflands is inhabited by any 
of the human fpecies, but conftantly vifited 
by the Englifh from New Providence, and 
Spaniards from Cuba, for the fake of 
wrecks, madeira wood, tortoife, fhrimps, 
fifh, and birds : of the, latter a variety 
exift on the iflands and about Cape Sable, 
amongftwhichis peculiarly alarge red bird, 
which rneafures fix feet from the toe to its 
bill's end, (which is crooked, and has its 
maxillary motion on its upper part, as on that 

C 2 of 

[12 J 

ot a parrot) and is called flamingo ; bc- 
fides fmall deers, bears, , racoons, and 
fquirrels. The fhoals, e pecially Som- 
breros, fouth of Firzherbert, and the 
Shoal Loup, (thus called, from the Loup 
man of war being loft thereon) fouth of 
Roberts, which fhoals border upon the 
Florida ftream, diftinguifhing themfelves 
by fliewing their fand-hills above wa- 
ter (vifible at four and five miles diftance) 
evidently appear to be the remnant of the 
fouthern periinfula torn firft' into iflands ; 
which, deprived of their natural pro- 
duels, inhabitants and rich foil, retain 
only at this time their barren fand -cover 
over their rocky foundation ; from which I 
reafonably conclude, that the rocky 
reefs are of the number of thofe iflands 
formed by force of the ftream out of 
the fouthern peninfula above mentioned, 
but wafhed clean of all that the vio- 
lence of the ftream could move thereon, 
and remain awful and dangerous wharfs 
in that fea, to the great prejudice of 
the many veffels wrecked thereon in times 
paft, and almoft weekly to this day : 
thefe rocks in fome places project, in 
others level the furface of the fea ; ~ne- 
verthelefs they fathom, in their inter- 
vals, from eighteen to forty-eight feet 
water, fo that vefTels, have crofted thefe 
reefs on thofe intervals without touch- 


[ t 3 j 

ing. I have obferved in my furveys of 
the Martiers, that the Florida ft, earn, 
at its regular feafons, and uninterrupted 
ccurfe in fair weather, forms a re- 
markably vifible glazed line of divifion, 
but in many places out of fight of any 
land - 9 without which line the ftream 
appears in fome places as blue boil- 
ing water, in others burfting and fer- 
menting like cataradls, even, at times of 
the greateft calms, befides being fathom- 
lefs in thefe very fpots ; and within the 
aforefaid line is an eddy quite fmooth, 
changing gradually as it approaches 
Hawke channel and iflands, from the 
ftream's deep blue, to a beautiful fea- 
green, and at laft into a milk-white. 
The foundings under the blue-coloured 
water are on fine white marl ; under the 
fea-green, on the faid marl, with fpun^e, 
white coral, fea-feathers, tortoife-grafs, 
and fometimes banks of rocks ; and 
under the white-coloured water, the 
foundings are on white marl, with banks 
of rocks, or white find : this eddy takes 
its current in an oppofite direction from 
that of the contiguous dream, viz. 

The foundings in the eddv (N. B. in 
cafe no reef is in the way) between 
the ftream and Hawke Channel run 
from two hundred and eighty to fix- 

[ H J 

teen feet ; and where reefs and flioals 
divide the ftream and Hawke channel, 
the foundings in fome places are, from 
bottomlefs, at once fixty-eight feet. 

After thefe difcoveries, veffels may 
with fafety avoid hereafter the eddy, 
or make allowance for it in their cal- 
culations -, that is, if they cannot help 
falling into the eddy, (after they have 
taken all precautions by founding in 
blue water, and, when they had bottom, 
flood off) they will naturally fubftradt 
what longitude they make in the eddy 
from what they had made in the ftream,, 
and begin a new departure -, be precife 
in their morning and meridian obfer- 
vations ; and when they find themfelves 
with 6° 25' eaft variation, in latitude 24% ■ 
which is neareft Huefo ifland, the Som- 
breros, Loup Shoals, Holborn and Dart- 
mouth inlets, they are to make an eaft 
offing of a hundred and forty miles : if 
with 7 30' eaft variation, in latitude 24 
40', which is neareft Matance and Spencer 
inlet ; to gain an eaft offing of fixty 
miles : when with 6° 30' eaft variation, in 
latitude 2 5 , which is neareft Tabona, 
now Stephen Ifland, and Palmerfton in- 
let ; then to try for an eaft offing of thirty 
miles before they ftand north for the 
New Bahama channel : but in cafe they 
arc with 6° eaft variation, in latitude 


C is 1 

25 s 4o ; , which is neareft Cape Florida, and 
to the north of all reefs, they need no 
offing, provided they fee no land to the 

Many veffels, bound through the New 
Bahama channel, were loft in fair wea- 
ther : unacquainted with the ftream's 
eddy, and of foundings being under 
blue water, they were fwept infenlibly by 
the eddy to the weftward ; and when 
they found by their calculations that they 
had a good offing eaft of Cape Flo- 
rida, ftood north, and in lieu of enter- 
ing the New Bahama channel, run ftrait 
upon a reef. /^ 

As the meridian obfervations fouth of 
latitude 25 40' are no direction, 
and the morning or evening obfervations 
ufelefs, as long as the variations of the 
compafs on the different places of the 
promontory have not been heretofore 
known ; I have therefore, with the 
greateft care, taken the variations on 
Cape Florida, the Matance, and Kuefo, 
by morning amplitudes, which on this 
promontory are the fureft ; for the 
evening obfervations, as I have experi- 
enced on places where I could have 
both in one day and on one fpot, do 
not fo nearly agree with a meridional 
operation, (I make life of at times) which, 
though very tedious, is however infallible. 


[ rf 3 

J mentioned before what effect the 
different winds have upon the Florida 
ftream. I think it neceffary to obferve 
now, that this ftream is alio fubject to 
an alteration from another caufe ; by 
which, as well as by the winds, it 
is either preffed on or off the coaft 5 
viz. by the full and change of the moon, 
which, according to its pofition, has all 
the different effects upon the ftream, 
however not in equal power with thofe 
of the winds ; and the difpofition of 
the ftream is increafed to its fuperlative, 
if the effects both of the winds and 
moon are combined ; for at this time 
the natural zimofis of the ocean rifes 
higheft : this zimofis regulates the flood 
and ebb, and divides them in propor- 
iioxiats times, and confequently directs 
and increafes them, with the affiftance 
of eafteily moor-s and winds, to the weft, 
and, of wefterly rnoons and winds, to the 
eaft -, fo that the weft and eaft fhores 
are at times deprived of, and at other 
times overflowed by tides 5 occaiioned by 
thefe viciiutudes. 

The boifterous eaft, N.E. and north 
winds begin generally in September, 
and continue during the feafon when 
the fun is in the fouth, viz. until March, 
at which time thefe winds generally end 
with a gale or hurricane, if the moon's 


[ *7 3 
full or change falls in with the 
feafon : if then veffels happen to be 
in the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico, 
that is, between the Havanna and Cape 
Florida, they had beft endeavour to make 
the Bahama iflands, or at leaft the 
foundings of them, and proceed under 
their lee fide ; but w 7 hen they are to 
the north of them, to keep in the eaft- 
ern extent of the ftream, or elfe they 
will not be able to clear their way 
through the New Bahama channel, nor 
along the coaft of Ea'ft Florida : either 
go on fhore of the reefs, Cape Florida, 
or Cape Canaveral 5 if not, upon the 
beach between both capes, or to the 
northward of them, which is the leaft 
evil of the two ; for thus the crew and 
cargo may be faved; and fome veffels may 
alfo be brought off, provided the ftorm 
ceafes before the veffel is made a wreck of. 
But if, at the time of the fouth fun, or 
at any other time, the winds are weft- 
wardly, then the Atlantic coaft affords 
the moil eligible lee for navigators who 
do not choofe to take the ftream. 

Two inftances of the fame nature I ex- 
perienced, one in February, the other in 
December 1770, viz. December 25, then 
moon's change : being in the Gulf ftream, 
in the morning I made Fox, alias Ro- 
drigos ifland, ftood in for the Carys- 

D fort 

I I? ] 

fort reef, fell in very foon (after I had 
light of the laid ifland) with the ftream's 
eddy ; and it was then, by the land, very 
viiible how much I was fvvept to the 
fouth-weftward by the eddy : at noon 
was oppofite the Matance ; in the even- 
ing almoft loft fight of it : all this time 
I was becalmed till five o'clock in the 
evening : when the w T iod came from the 
nor th-eaft ward, I flood E.S.E. with which 
courfe I took my departure from the 
Matance (flill a little viiible) out of the 
eddy into the ftrearn, run all night at the 
rate of five knots until four o'clock in the 
morning of the. 26th, when the wind fhifted 
to the eaft: fare of being twelve miles eaft 
of Cape Florida, befides allowing for cur- 
rent, I fuffered my mafter, Mr. Charles 
Yonge, to lay the veffel N.N.E; for 
the New Bahama channel \ about eleven 
difcovered land, which by the meridian 
obfervation, as well as by approach- 
ing it nearer to fight, proved to be 
Cape Florida, which with a fouthwardly 
wind would have been an agreeable afpect: 
finding the Florida flream fetting north- 
westwardly on fhore, and on our wea- 
ther-fide, attempted to tack to the S.S.E. 
but foon difcovered that both w T ind and 
current hurried us towards the north 
end of Biikaina reef ; flood N.N.E. 
again, but having upon both tacks wind 


[ *9 1 

and current joining on one fide, was 
fwept fo near the land, that no more 
than a fifteen minutes run would have fet 
a period to my navigation. My mafter ran 
to the helm, fet the veifel about to the 
S.S.E. a fecond time, which however 
would only have determined our ca- 
taflrophe upon the reefs whereas, on the 
other hand, the N.N.E. tack would have 
brought us to the beach of the cape ; 
for the main and reef bore N.N.E. 
and S.S.W* the veffel lay with its lar- 
board tack parallel with the main : the 
current from the S.E. bearing upon the 
weather-quarter, afforded no room for 
lee-way between the veffel and main ; 
and the veffel with her ftarboard tack, 
although fhe lay four points from the reef, 
becaufe the current was fetting upon the 
weather-bow, had the reef at the end 
of her lee-way ; but that very inftant 
the wind fhifted to the E.N.E. which 
brought the ftream in a narrower chan- 
nel home to the main, and changed the 
N.W. into a N.N.W. current of courfe 
under the lee-bow of the veffel, befides 
laying fix points from the reef: was 
now able to obtain a fufficient offing, 
and gained the lee of the Bahamas. 
All that night, and ever after, until De- 
cember 29, the wind waved between 
north and eaft, during which time I 


[ 20 j 
had much ado, by frequent fouth-eaft- 
wardly tacks, to regain the eaftern ex- 
tent of the ftream, in order to beware 
of Canaveral fhoal and the coaft of 
Eafl Florida, I ftiould not have en-> 
larged thefc difcoveries with the preceding 
particular narrative of my adventure, 
had I not thought it a circumftance 
which might ferve the better to explain 
what obfervations and difcoveries I have 
premifed : befides, as I am determined 
at any time, (if it fhould be my lot to 
fall in with the above feafons in that 
fea) to make my offing good in the 
foundings of the Bahamas, this obliges me 
to communicate my reafons and judg- 
ment in thefe critical cafes to the world, 
for the benefit of thofe who are bound 
from the Havannah on Cuba to the 
Atlantic ocean, having 183 miles northing, 
127 miles eafting, and a diftance of 223 
miles to clear on a courfe of N.E.b.N. 
northerly, with a current which will 
fct the veffel about 3^- points to the earl: - 
ward. A due north will be the moil 
eligible pofition for a veffel departing 
from the Havannah, in order to make 
Cape Florida and the mouth of the Nevr 
Bahama channel. 

After this neceffary digreffiony I re- 
turn to the antient Hate of the promon- 
tory, and the effect of the flream, by 


[ 21 ] 

which the above-mentioned river, now 
Grant's, terminating in Lloyd's lake, is 
intirely filled up with the foil torn from 
both the main and northern peninfula ; 
fo that a paffage north-eaflward of the 
Matacombes, to communicate between 
the Martier iflands, the main, and pen- 
infula Larga, has not as yet been met 
with, for even a veffel of three feet 
draught. I was obliged to employ a 
battoe and yawl, of not above nine 
inches draught, to perform the fu-rvey 
thereof. The river between the two 
peninfulas, now Hawke channel, affords 
a very fafe communication between the 
Martier reefs, flioals, and iflands ; as alfo 
a fafe reception for veifels in diftrefs, 
finding their way through the inlets, 
which I will fpecify hereafter. This- 
channel has upwards of forty-five feet 
water, and not lefs than 147 feet in the 
{halloweft places, of which the firft is 
oppoiite Elliot's fouth and Jenyns's north 
points, in latitude 25 i8 / -30 / , and the 
fecond oppofite the north point of Larga, 
in latitude 25° 18'. 

Hawke channel has eight out and in- 
lets, fafe communications from the Flo- 
rida ftream, through the reefs and fhoals, 
of no lefs than eighteen feet water ; the 
firft in latitude 25° 35' 16" N.W. from 
the fouth point of Biikaino ifLnd, called 


[ 22 3 

Keppel inlet; the fecond, called Buller, 
oppoiite Elliot, bears due eaft and weft 
between Biikaino and Litbury reefs, in 
latitude 25 28' gxfj the third, called 
Palmerfton, between Hays and Matance 
reefs, bears due eaft and weft from and to 
Tabona, now Stephen ifland, in latitude 
24 56' 35" : (N. B. fourteen miles north 
of this inlet his majefty's fhip the Ga- 
ry sfort was run, by the pilot, upon the 
reef now known by the Carysfort's 
name, the 23d of O&ober, 1770, and 
was brought off by the mafter, Mr. 
Hunter's fkill and diligence, and is the 
firft veffel, to my knowledge, which got 
clear) : the fourth inlet, called Spencer, 
is about eight miles wide, between Ma- 
tance and the laft of the Viveres reefs, 
in latitude 24 42' 30", oppoiite the 
ifland Matance ; the fifth, called Wal- 
lace, fouth of the fouthernmoft of the 
Vacas iflands, and. the fouth end of 
Bonetta reef, in latitude 24 32' 30 /; ; 
the fixth, called Lilburne, S.E. of Ed- 
wards's iflands, in latitude. 24 27' 3 c/; 
the feventh, called Dartmouth, fix miles 
and a half to the eaft ward of the Loup, 
S.b.E. of Robinfon's ifland, and E.b.S. 
of Huntingdon's harbour, in latitude 
24 27' i6 /y y the eighth and laft, called 
Holburne inlet, is weft of the Som- 
breros, and fouth of Egmont channel, 


£ 23 ] 

In latitude 24 20'. Befides tliefe out or 
inlets, are three paffages through the 
Martier iflands into Richmond bay 3 for 
veffels of little draught to fhorten their 
voyage to and from Penfaeola : the 
northernmoft, called Onflow, has its in- 
let on the fouth of Matacombe la Viega, 
in latitude 24 45;', oppofite Spencer in- 
let, runs on the fouth of the iflands 
Jenkinfon, Dyfons, Townfhends, Coo- 
pers, and Bradfhaws, (alias. Sandy Key) 
and under the north of Vivera, has fix 
feet water in the ftialloweft places : the 
next, Gordon, in latitude 24 35', enters 
through the Vacas, viz. by the earl end 
of the laft wefternmoft but one, N.b.E. 
of Wallace inlet, runs north of Ellis, 
and its fhalloweft water is 8-7 feet : 
the third paflage, called North, in la- 
titude 24 33', inlets eaft of Jenning 
ifland, N.b.E. of Dartmouth inlet, and 
W.b.N. of Litburne inlet, and runs on 
no lefs than fix feet foundings under 
the N.E. fide of Newcaftle ifland. But 
veffels of eleven or twelve feet draught, 
taking Hawke channel, bound to or from 
Penfaeola, or its contiguous places, mud 
crofs the Martier iflands through the 
more fouthern paflage, called Egmont 
channel, of which I have advanced fully 
what was neceffary : I will therefore con- 
clude with the direction through Egmont 


[ 24 ] 

channel. The fouth-wefternmoft point of 
Huefo is remarkable by the rocks thereon, 
nioftly above water: veffels from the, 
fouthward in the ftream Hand in through 
Hoiburne inlet ; as alfo veffels coming 
down Hawke . channel, after clearing the 
laid rocky point in Huefo, ftand in due 
north half a mile to the weft of Huefo, 
and run up until they bring; the faid 
rocky point to bear S.S.E. a-ftern, 
then lay N.N.W. and purfue that courfe 
until the (heals both of Huefo and Tor- 
tugas are cleared ; from which time they 
will fcon increafe their water, as they 
advance in Richmond bay : veffels again 
coming from the northward of the gulf 
may fee the faid rocky point, when within 
i6i- feet foundings before the Tortuga 
and Huefo banks draw up both fides of the 
channel, whence they bring the rocky point 
in a S.S.E. direction a-head, and follow 
that courfe (confulting eye and lead) un- 
til they {hut up the two points of the 
firft fmall bay on the north fide of Huefo • 
then come to a fafe anchor, or ftand 
due fouth out through Hoiburne outlet 
into the ftream, with which they will 
meet after four knots run, provided 
they chufe the of the fhoals 
and reefs of the Martiers"; but in cafe 
they chufe the infide of the fhoals and 
reefs through Hawke channel, then 


[ *5 1 

clear the rocky point with a fouth courfe 
of a full half-mile's run, and draw up 
E.b.S. along the fouth fhores of the 
iflands Huefo, Fitzherbert, &c. farther 
keeping an offing, from the iflands in ge- 
neral, of a league parallel to the range 
of them all, (confulting eye and lead) 
will meet with the befl; water to anchor 
every evening, and to proceed as far 
as Bifkaino ifland, where without diffi- 
culty, if the wind is wefterly or fouth- 
erly, they may run into the Florida 
ftream, which is there in fight. Before 
I conclude, I think it neceffary to ob- 
ferve, that flood and ebb keep equal 
tides upon the Atlantic coaft as far fouth 
as Ofwald, Laurence, Paradizos, Sol- 
diers, Knox, and Pollock iflands, where 
it floods feven hours and ebbs feven, 
after which it floods five hours and ebbs 
five : at the Matance ifland, or Spencer 
inlet, it never keeps any regularity ; and 
fo on as far as Huefo, 


Having obferved the different Variations of the Compafs from the Dry 
Tortugas to Cape Florida, I hope, adding to the Conclufion or" thefe 
Obfervations all Variations as far as I have traced them to the 
Northward, and acrofs the Oce^n to Europe, wiii not be an unne- 

cessary Supplement, viz. 

IV. Longi- 


' Variation. 

tuae from 


o / // 





8r o o 

26 £o 


24 52 E. 


27 20 




27 40 



81 30 

28 20 


> vaj 


81 40 

28 40 



82 20 

29 40 

1 ^ 


82 30 

30 10 




82 39 20 

3° 3° 




80 42 43 

32 40 




77 30 

33 30 





35 3° 







71 30 

38 30 



66 42 

39 ° 








53 30 




46 30 

42 20 



43 10 

43 40 



40 30 

44 30 




45 30 



3* 50 

46 28 



29 40 

47 29 



28 40 


J 7 



r 9 39 

49 22 



12 30 

49 4° 




M 44 3 

49 3 6 


9 17 54 

46 36 




7 5o 13 








6 31 46 







1— < 

6 58 46 

49 15 


►— « 



5 1 o 49 5 o ditto 

Bottom and Situation* 

at Grenville, alias Jupiter's inlet. 

near Hi:Kborou^h, alias Ays inlet. 

.about Spaniih Adm ral creek. 

fouth of <ape Canaveral. 

near IMuIkitc inlet. 

at St, Aupuiiine. 

at the mouth of St. Juan's. 

at the mou h of St. Mary's. 

at Caarh.:-Town. 

at fea in the foundings, 

the Gul^ ilream. 
n dittea 
n ditto. 
n the ocean, 
n ditto. 
n ditto. 
n ditto, 
n ditto. 
n ditto, 
n the Gulf, 
n ditto. 
n the Ocean, 
n ditto. 
n ditto, 
n ditto. 

150 fath. very foft bottom fcarce 
perceptible, white fand. 
75" ditto, on middling foft bottom, 
fine grey fand, pieces of 
pearl-mother, and red 
6£ ditto, hard bottom, coarfe grey 
fand, fmall black itones, 
broken yellow and faw- 
duft-like (hells. 
70 ditto, hard bottom, grey fine 
fand, broken pearl-mo- 
ther, yellow ihells and 
white pebbles. 
70 ditto, hard bottom , coarfe grey 
fand faw-dufl-like, and 
large broken, with fmall 
whole fhells. 
60 ditto, on very hard bottom, 
eoarfe yellow fand, and 
large broken fhells.